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Lower Ball Joints

My 2001 Lincon Continental’s lower ball joints need to be replaced after 18,000 miles. Do ya think have the ride control set on plush has contributed to this? I replaced both at 51,000 miles and I am now being told that they need to be replaced again at 69,000

Who’s telling you that you need new ball-joints??

I’d get a second opinion.

Many years ago I went to NTB (National Tire & Battery) [it was called NTW back then] for an alignment. Tech saids I need new ball-joints. I said “show me”. He couldn’t…Some 180k miles later when I finally sold that truck…the ORIGINAL ball-joints were still fine.

What kind of parts were used to replace them the first time?

I would also want evidence or symptoms that the ball joints are bad.
I would also wonder about the origin and quality of the replacement parts if they really failed so soon.

The Ball joints along with 4 new tires were replaced at a Lincoln dealer so I assume that that used Lincoln parts and the tires are Michilen. I had a brake job done on the front brakes later at an independent repair shop were all the mechanics are certified. Some time later I noticed viberation on the highway while braking so I took it back to the shop that did the work. They determined that the rear brakes need to be replaced and also they noticed tire wear on inside part of the front tires and suggested that the ball joint might need to be replaced.

Three possibilities:

  1. Unlike say, tierod ends, testing ball joints isn’t the easiest thing in the world. It’s possible that the problem has been misdiagnosed. Get a second opinion.

  2. It’s remotely possible that the Lincoln dealer didn’t actually replace your ball joints at 51,000 miles. I doubt they deliberately charged you for work they didn’t do, but miscommunications happen. Maybe the mechanic went home sick or something and the guy who took over thought the ball joints were already replaced.

  3. If the ball joints really were replaced, and the new ones only lasted 18,000 miles, get them replaced at an independent shop and use some sort of third party replacement part rather than a genuine Ford/Lincoln part. Use Google to find out if the ball joints used on your car really do wear out that quickly. Normal lifetime for a ball joint would be … I dunno … somewhere between 80,000 and 300,000 miles. I drive my cars well over 100,000 miles and I’ve only ever replaced two ball joints.